Neuromarketing: The Neuroscience of Buying Things

January 21, 2019
Neuromarketing is a field that studies the way we shop in terms of our unconscious decisions.

A lot of different things make up our personalities. Our memories and thoughts affect the decisions we make and shape who we are as people. This is why lots of businesses are trying to access the instinctive parts of our brains to get us to buy their products. This is called neuromarketing or the neuroscience of buying things.

When a big company wants to know if one of its products will be successful, it does market research studies. They carry them out to have an idea of how many people might buy that product.

Of course, those studies always end up involving psychology or neuroscience. What makes you buy one thing and not another? What role does your personal experience play in that decision? Are there stimuli that make us more receptive to advertising? How do we react to different kinds of advertising?

Answering these questions and many others is the goal of neuromarketing. Many people are starting to study the topic, such as Paul Zack, Tim Pethick, and Néstor Braidot. We based our article on their studies.

Neuromarketing: The study of the decisions and emotions involved in buying things

The scientists we just named have all studied the subconscious side of marketing. For example, Braidot is an expert in neuroscience. Pethick focuses more on the emotional side of marketing. Lastly, Zack studies what goes on in our brains during the decision-making process.

Still, all their different interests fit into the field of neuromarketing and our buying decisions. They have the same goal: to figure out what goes on in our head when we’re going to buy something. That way, they can tailor advertisements to a person’s personality, needs, and emotional state.

The goal of neuromarketing is to personalize advertisement.

Recent studies have shown that we make most of our decisions unconsciously. In other words, there are a lot of hidden factors at work in the process.

If we apply that to modern marketing, it becomes clear that our emotional side plays a major role in our shopping experience. It’s not a rational process. This is why we have different views of several brands, even when they might sell the same products. 

What’s the goal of neuromarketing?

Essentially, the goal of neuromarketing is to analyze everything related to the buying experience. Researchers use various questions and scenarios to figure out how to best use stimuli to get us to buy things. Naturally, they do that through advertising and customer attraction and retention strategies.

They want to learn how to influence our buying decisions. They do that by studying the cause and effect link between our behavior and mind. If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. A lot of businesses depend on the decisions we make for their success.

The biggest corporations are spending tons of money on experts and neuroscientists who analyze consumer interests for them. Understanding our decision-making process helps them create perfectly tailored marketing strategies.

A man buying something with his phone.

The rules of neuromarketing

The experts at Envíalo Simple, a Spanish company, have outlined three basic neuromarketing rules:

  • A pleasant environment: Whether online or in-person, you want your customers to feel comfortable and not want to leave. The more inviting the environment, the more likely they’ll be to come back.
  • Innovation: You can’t keep on using the same strategies forever, even if they worked in the past. As consumer trends evolve, the market changes. Thus, you have to change your strategies, too.
  • StimulationA good strategy also has to involve sensory stimulation. That means using sight, taste, hearing, or even touch and smell if possible. The goal is to create a positive feeling. That way, customers’ brains will link the product or sales environment with positive memories.

Many advertising campaigns based on our understanding of the subconscious mind already exist. Could you ever have imagined that’d we’d be using neuroscience and psychology this way? Although it may scare you a bit, it’s hard to deny that it’s fascinating.